According to research presented at a recent American Heart Association conference, premenopausal women who have insufficient vitamin D levels have an elevated risk of developing high blood pressure.
In their work, researchers followed 559 Caucasian women with an average age of 38 between the years of 1992 to 2007. They found that premenopausal women with vitamin D deficiency at the beginning of the study had the risk of developing systolic hypertension 15 years later that was three times higher than in other groups.
Flojaune C. Griffin, the study’s author, says the study differs from other research in this field because of its longer time span.
Vitamin D has long been known to be crucial for bone health, but recent studies have also linked a deficiency of the vitamin to decreased immunity and higher risk for some cancers.
Foods like milk, fish and eggs as well as cod liver oil are good sources of vitamin D, but it can also be found in nutritional supplements.
The vitamin is moreover produced in the body after exposure to the sun, and experts say as little as 10 minutes a day are enough to prevent deficiencies.